Throughout this year of a global pandemic, many have struggled to stay employed and pay rent- facing the real possibility of eviction. The immigrant, refugee communities comprise nearly 10% of the population of Marion County. So many in this population do not have other family members nearby or support systems like other Hoosiers.
Migros Aid, Inc. works with refugees throughout the city and has been serving a Muslim family who fled Syria and who have been in America since 2017. Their family of 7 live in a 3-bedroom apartment and nearly faced eviction due to COVID-19 and not being able to work in December.
Through the generosity of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, St. George’s Orthodox Christian Church, one individual, and Migros Aid, their December rent was paid. and help with their utility bills was provided.
When the body of Christ comes together to help and serve the least of these in our community, it is a beautiful thing and displays to the world what the church is all about.
Going back to school has looked different this year, but students are now returning to the classroom, some on a hybrid schedule. Thank you to everyone who made this happen! We are very appreciative of those who helped provided pencils, paper, notebooks, crayons, calculators, masks, and other supplies needed for the children we serve to have a good start back to school.
Reusable bags were provided by the Trader Joe’s on West 86th street to hold the supplies, as well as paper grocery sacks from local Kroger stores. Several volunteers met on a Thursday night to sort and prepare the supplies for distribution.
We were able to provide school supplies for 110 students. They were excited to receive the school supplies, and we hope they have a great start back to in-person school!
The Migros Aid Garden of 2020 has been a huge success in many ways. The garden is over and cleaned out for 2021! There were 53 volunteers involved in Garden work this year, from planting to harvesting to cleaning the garden. We added some new garden beds for a total of 36 raised beds. We grew and harvested 949 pounds of produce, including a variety of tomatoes, okra, eggplant, beans, and more. All of the produce was distributed (free of charge) to the refugee and immigrant community.
Over the summer we employed 6 teens who came each week to tend the garden in pairs, along with volunteer mentors. As a result of these relationships, 2 small group Bible studies were born and are still going.
The 2020 harvest is over, but the garden beds have been cleaned and are ready for 2021!
When the pandemic first began in early 2020 and the city was mostly shut down, masks were needed for medical workers because of the shortage of supplies. Volunteers for Migros Aid donated fabric, sewing machines, supplies, and time so that refugees could learn to sew masks. Some of them had never used a sewing machine before while others had experience sewing. The Mon sisters, who are immigrants themselves and trained seamstresses, volunteered their time to help train those who were interested in sewing.
The 1,000+ masks that were made have been given out to the the refugee community, who lacked the resources to purchase masks early on during the pandemic. Masks were also given to several other groups who faced shortages of masks early on during the pandemic.